Jenny Fay (Rockstar Racing) has had a stunning run so far in the Real Insurance XCM Series, taking the wins at the Wombat 100, Capital Punishment, and now the Convict 100. While certainly a force to be reckoned with in years passed, and with many fantastic wins to her name, this three race streak is still very impressive. Additionally, she was able to break the course record. Being Sydney based, I asked Fay if the classic Marathon route at St Albans held any increased significance.
“I trained 4hrs over the course about five times in the last two months at 20-22km p/hr race pace on a 17hr per week training schedule, so I thought, with a good taper, it would be possible to break the 4hr 30mark, but my priority was to win three from three in the Series, so I didn’t give any thought to a PB until I knew how I was feeling after the first two races. It only took a few km into the race and over the KOM to know that I was going to have a good day, so I told myself if I raced hard and smart, I could break the 4hr30mark. Turns out pretty much everyone had a fast day out!”
Jenny Fay (Rockstar Racing) talks about her race, looking fresh after her Convict 100 victory.
Being able to perform week in, week out is something that can elude some racers. Work commitments can hinder your recovery, and the feeling that you still need to be training can mean you do too much! As an experienced athlete, Fay was able to manage her time and her recovery well.
“I created a form of recovery structure for myself after the Wombat…the wins obviously gave me confidence going into the next race so I was relaxed in between and listened to my coach to avoid the panic of post and pre racing nerves: i.e: avoided training with a race number! Training was kept to a minimum with some endurance rides and an ergo session midweek and the morning of the race involving 5-10min tempo efforts @70-80%, which sent the memo to the leg muscles: ‘Get ready for more!’”
Managing your recovery isn’t just about lazing around and eating lots of food. Active recovery requires the right activities, and your nutrition needs to be optimised. Fay has this nailed, and is clearly reaping the benefits of experience and preparation.
“Off the bike, I ate (A LOT!) sensibly, rehydrated daily with 3litres of water, mixed in with Endura Magnesium Rehydration sachets and indulged in a half hr massage from Will at the Massagetherapist on Clarence St who did a great job not confusing which end of the week I needed recovery and preparation! I used Sportique Cooling Down and Warm Up Cream pre and post race which were great for each end of the day, the travel journeys and cold temperatures we experienced in the mornings of the three events. Unloading and relaoding race bags, the washing machine and dishwasher made up for all the training hours I wasn’t doing!”
The first three races of the Real Insurance XCM Series were so compact, and there is now a lull until the next three rounds. But the racing doesn’t stop. On June 10th, the Australian Marathon Championships take place at Mt Stromlo. As an Irish national, Fay is unable to pull the green and gold jersey on if she wins that race – as was the case in 2011. Does that dampen her enthusiasm?
“Absolutely not! The Australian Marathon Championships is a big goal of the year for me… albeit bittersweet! I don’t have to wear the jersey to know I won the race, but losing it will put an end to my undefeated record of marathon wins in Australia in over 2 yrs. It’s all I can do on the day and with the aim of qualifying for the World Marathon Championships in October, I will need to search for a UCI World Marathon Series race somewhere else in the world to qualify, which involves a lot more preparation than just ticking that box in Canberra as an Australian citizen… another current goal in the pipeline so I can eventually get to wear the jersey every month of the year here!”
Jenny Fay had a great race at the 2011 XCM Championships – can she repeat her performance at Mt Stromlo on June 10th?
Check back soon for a feature interview with Jenny Fay, and how she plans to pursue qualification for the UCI XCM World Championships.